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Capitals to wear Black History Night warmup jerseys before Penguins game

Will be autographed, auctioned to benefit minority youth players

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / Staff Writer

The Washington Capitals will wear special Black History Night warmup jerseys before they host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, TVAS, NBCSWA, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV).

The black jerseys feature a Players Against Hate end racism shoulder patch. They will be autographed and auctioned, along with signed Players Against Hate merchandise including winter caps and pucks at to benefit the Capital Impact Fund.

The fund was launched this season to help minority youth players and eliminate cost barriers faced by local hockey players.

"I [wouldn't be] able to play for the Capitals if I didn't have all my family and friends and people with, at the time, Seattle junior hockey, helping me get to the rinks or get to Canada for the bus trips," Capitals forward T.J. Oshie said. "We just want to bring those opportunities to minorities and to Black kids in our communities and certainly around the U.S. and the world."

Founded in 2019 following an incident at a youth hockey tournament in Maryland when a player, Divyne Apollon II, was taunted with racial slurs, Players Against Hate is dedicated to increasing awareness and stopping racism and name-calling by youth athletes, their team, coaches, families and spectators. Co-founder Tammi Lynch, whose son was teammates with Apollon on the Metro Maple Leafs from Odenton, Maryland, designed the logo on the end racism shoulder patches, which features the word "Racism" crossed out by a hockey stick.

"There's only one way to put it: Racism is completely unacceptable," Capitals forward Tom Wilson said. "… We want to bring people together. In the game of hockey and life, you bring people together and you're going to get a better product. What's been going on the last couple of years has just been unacceptable, so it's just showing that we're in it with everybody and we support everyone, and the jerseys and the toques that we'll have on are just a symbol of that."

The Black History Night fundraiser concludes at 3 p.m. on March 5.

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